Kenny Hill has always teased us with talent. The game seems to come easy for Hill, a Southlake kid, one of the litany of Texas A&M quarterbacks that came in highly regarded only to find new homes, and he's got all the physical tools. But he's had a bit of a Nuke LaLoosh streak to him as well. In the seminal baseball epic Bull Durham, Crash Davis tells the young fireballer LaLoosh that he's got a "million dollar arm but a five-cent head." You can't argue with Hill's talent, but you can take issue with his decision making on and off the field.
The off-field stuff isn't major. Hill was suspended for two games due to a violation of team rules and university policy in 2014 while he was at A&M. By that time Hill had lost his gig to another talented quarterback who now plies his craft outside of College Station, Kyle Allen.
In his first season at TCU, Hill once again teased us with talent. Out of conference, which included SEC bully Arkansas, Hill averaged 353.5 yards per game, better than his predecessor Trevone Boykin. In league however, that number dropped to less than 200 yards per game. By comparison Boykin threw for 323 yards in league, 328 yards out of league. Against familiar and more equal opposition Hill struggled. As the season wore on, Hill's numbers wore down. He averaged 371 yards passing in September; 240 in October; 186 in November; and 99 in December/January.
Part of the issue were Hill's receivers who dropped more passes than any other receiving group in the FBS, 38 of which came from Hill's arm. That's hard to overcome, but it doesn't tell the whole story. Hill failed to take care of the football, committing thirteen interceptions in 2016 compared to just seventeen touchdowns. He tantalized us with a five touchdown performance and 449 yards against Oklahoma only to throw three picks a week later at Kansas as the Frogs almost pulled a Texas, escaping Lawrence with a 24-23 win.
In four of his first five games Hill threw for 350 yards or more, he wouldn't top 250 yards in any game the rest of the season. He threw eight picks to just six touchdowns after October 1st. He had just two games of over 200 yards passing. His yards per attempt dropped by almost three yards from September to December.
Hill had the unenviable task of replacing the transcendent Boykin, but he's a more polished passer than Boykin at this point and while he may not be there runner Boykin was, he's a plus athlete. In 2017 he returns almost every one of his receivers and all everything back Kyle Hicks. He'll be in his third year in the offense and on campus in Fort Worth. It's go time. The Frogs have the talent to contend for the Big 12 in 2017 if they can get a better season from Hill and his receivers get over the dropsies. Can Hill's talent finally come to the forefront? We're about to find out.